Houston Business Owner Gathers Harvey Donations From Across Texas

Houston's recovery from Harvey will take years, and there are already signs of progress thanks to Texans helping Texans.

Maryam Afshari Khreibani, owner of the clothing boutique Baanou in the River Oaks District in Houston, is on a one-woman crusade to help anyone who needs it. Her family and her home were spared from flooding, so she came out to to help those who weren't.

Even though Khreibani's store was closed for business, she opened her doors for as many donations as possible for Harvey victims.

"So many people who had never been flooded were flooded. So many people who lost everything also didn't have flood insurance," Khreibani said.

She went to social media asking for help with things like wipes, diapers, pillows, baby clothes, towels and shoes. Word of mouth led to a constant stream of strangers coming through her door with bags of donations.

"We're not a big organization. We're just a local business trying to do our part. It's amazing to see what Facebook and Instagram has been able to do. How many people actually care about people they don't even know?" Khreibani said.

When her husband, James Khreibani, isn't at the store helping, he's out volunteering in hard-hit areas, rescuing people stuck in their flooded homes.

James Khreibani and his friend, Hamid Parvizian, were headed back out Thursday to save anyone they could who couldn't leave their homes.

"It's great to see the divide, that we've ever had, have all come together. It doesn't matter where you're from, who you support, everybody's coming tougher to support each other and help each other out," Parvizian said.

Maryam Khreibani is a Southern Methodist University graduate who has gotten support from across the state.

"I've been getting a lot of calls from people in Dallas, especially because I went to school there, and so many of my friends are there who are saying, 'What can I send over?' Texans are good people. And you know that they're gonna take care of each other," she said.

She said she will take all the donations she can get, even from her friends in Dallas, and she will also donate 25 percent of her sales to charity.

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